I’m often asked how high to hang a chandelier over a dining table or pendants over a kitchen island. There are general guidelines to use, but often it comes down to preference. Typically, a chandelier is hung about 30′ to 36″ above a table, My dining room chandelier (shown) is actually 37″ above the table. When we were hanging it, it felt too low at 35-36″ and felt right at 37″. Size of your chandelier should be approximately 1/2 to 2/3’s the width of your table. My table is 42″ wide and my chandelier is about 28″ wide. Tip: if you are having electricians hang your lighting, be sure to be present when they’re working. As I mentioned, it often comes down to personal preference. If you’re working with a designer, make sure they’re available to guide you and the electrician.
For lighting above a kitchen island, it’s suggested to hang pendants 30-36″ above the island. Again, this is a general guideline. For example, taller people may want to hang them a bit higher than suggested. Spacing of pendants should be a minimum of 24 inches between each one. How many pendants to hang? Well, that depends on several factors…the size of your island, the size of the pendant and personal preference. Extra long islands can accommodate 2 large pendants or 3 medium size pendants. Our kitchen island has 2 pendants (shown below). They’re hung 30″ above the counter and are spaced 28″ apart. Because these pendants are clear glass, I felt I could get away with hanging them at the low end of the range. Again, it felt about right to hang them at 30″ above the island. Tip: Attach a balloon to a string and tape it to the ceiling. Adjust it to see how far down you want your pendants to hang. Hang multiple strings/balloons to simulate the positioning of your island pendants.
And speaking of lighting, let’s talk about light bulbs. If you’re familiar with LED light bulbs, you know they can cast different hues. Some cast a sterile blue color, and some cast a dingy, yellow glow. Either one can really change the look and feel of a room. But there are LED bulbs that are pretty similar to incandescent lighting. One of my favorites is the CREE 60W Equivalent Soft White (2700K) A19 Dimmable LED Light Bulb. You can find it on Amazon here. The main thing you want to note is they are 2700K. The K stands for Kelvin and it’s used to measure the color temperature of light bulbs. It’s best to stay between 2700 – 3000K for soft white lighting. If you go higher, the light will become more white. For example, kitchen and bathroom lighting should be 3100K – 4000K. And this would be the same for offices where you need task lighting. So why use LED bulbs instead of regular incandescent bulbs? There are several reasons, but the top three are 1) they’re very energy efficient 2) they last forever and 3) they’re environmentally friendly. I use LED bulbs all the time for my staging projects because I never have to worry about them burning out. They aren’t cheap, but I think in the long run, they’re worth the extra expense.